Hand Knitting Yarns

Angora Rabbits for Yarn

Angora Rabbits for Yarn
The world’s softest garment fiber comes from a docile and adorable animal called the Angora rabbit. Quiet and calm by nature, these animals have been used in fiber harvest for hundreds of years.

We all seem to know what a rabbit is, and what one looks like. However, Angora rabbits are much less recognized.

This breed of rabbit has an incredibly long, fluffy coat, and pointy ears. They basically look like a big ball of fluff! Angora rabbits are normally cared for by yarn enthusiasts, taking special care of their famous fur. If they are to be kept as pets, the owner must be prepared for a comprehensive grooming routine.

The Angora rabbit was first bred in England in the 12th century, reportedly by a monk who enjoyed breeding domesticated rabbits. Later in the 18th century, one was mated with a Belgian Blanc de Bouscat in France to produce the French Angora. The term “Angora ” may be used to name any Angora rabbit however the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes four breeds of Angoras: Giant Angora, Satin Angora, German Angora and French Angora. Our fine Angora yarn and 100% Angora knitwear are spun from our very own Giant Angora bunnies.

Giant Angoras

Don’t be afraid! Although these rabbits are big, they are often described as the “gentle giant” of the Angora range. This is the breed of rabbit we use to make our premium quality 100% Angora Yarn.
The Giant Angora is, of course, the largest Angora breed, with a weight of at least 9-1/2 pounds. Giants are frequently used in commercial wool production, or where a huge volume of wool is desired.
Giants sometimes look very similar to English Angora rabbits – bangs, cheek puffs, ear tassels and fringes, wool on feet – or may have a clean head with heavy tassels just on the ends of the ears. Giant Angoras will need daily grooming and molt about 3 times a year. Excellent as pets, Giants Angoras are extremely gentle and easy going.

Generally when feeding Giant Angora Rabbits, straw and hay are the recommended diet. Straw and hay are given easily to babies and mature adults. Alfalfa can also be given, though it should not be given in unlimited quantities, as this may be fatal for the Giant Angora. Alfalfa may also not be good for babies because it is too rich and may cause diarrhea. Alfalfa should generally only be given in small quantities.

Giant Angoras are only recognized as white with ruby eyes. There are three types of hair in its wool: under-wool, awn fluff and awn hair. The wool is very dense and doesn’t usually mat. Their wool should cover all their body except their face. Their wool must be two inches, but four inches is ideal. In show, a Giant Angora will be disqualified for a complete lack of ear tassels, ear fringes, and normal hair on the front or hind feet and for a complete absence of wave to the wool, or wool that is excessively coarse. In a show, seniors are eight months or older and senior bucks should be at least eight and a half pounds, while seniors should be at least nine pounds. Intermediate Angoras are between six and eight months old and juniors are under six months old.
Quick Angora Facts
Lifespan

Approx. 5 years

Breeding

The ideal age for the female Angora rabbit to start breeding is between 5 and 6 months of age. The first litter must be born before the female is one year old. The reason for this is that after this age the pelvic bones fuse and she would not be able to give birth naturally. They should have no more litters after the age of three years.
Average Litter Size

3-5 (although a litter of 6 has been recorded)
Gestation Period
Between 28-34 days. On average they give birth at 30-32 days.
Size

3kgs on average
Feeding

A well balanced dry rabbit mix will contain all the necessary nutritional requirements that a rabbit needs. They can live healthy lives on a diet of the dry mix and hay. They do not need to be fed fresh fruit and vegetables. Rabbits have quite delicate stomachs so if you do feed these make sure they are limited as too much can cause diarrhea.
Character and Temperament
The Angora rabbit is sociable by nature.
Types of Coat

A longhaired rabbit, Angora hair can grow as long as 15cms or more.
Typical Colors

White, golden, fawn, smoke, blue, black and chinchilla.